Design Myths: Retail

Fashion StoreD I Cam 03 - Option 2 - 7-1-2013

It pays to make an effort to break from the norm! 

Here are five common Retail Design myths to watch out for:

1: Neutral walls are a must.  Think hard about the feel you are going for. How do you want your customers to feel? What are you selling? A splash of colour and personality makes a space far more inviting. Retailers should develop a “brand palette” of colours that connects with the logo and  business concept. Think about it in terms of how everything ties together to  tell a story to customers.

2: Stick with fixtures designed especially for your type of storeShop owners often feel obligated to use the same  fixtures their vendors use for their products. While a vendor might supply a display fixture or advise you on how to arrange a particular product, you  aren’t obligated to follow their suggestions. You can avoid using the standard white pressboard cubby shelving found in many stores. Instead, you could use  bookshelves, glass cubbies and other miscellaneous objects with personality. Such creative displays will make your store more  memorable to customers.

3: All your fixtures must be flexible.  Now, I understand that building flexibility into your shop is important for making merchandise changes and keeping the space looking fresh throughout the  year. But often shop owners will take this to extremes, using only temporary  fixtures as a way to avoid making design decisions. Unless done really well, when everything is flexible, it gives the store a temporary, noncommittal look that can be  off-putting. Some permanent shelving and fixtures that incorporate lighting, on  the other hand, can give your store a more polished and professional look. Think about where you need flexibility and where can you make more  commitments.

Myth No. 4: You can’t afford an interior designer. Small retailers assume they can’t afford professional  design help, but that’s not true. While you might not be able to pay for an interior designer to plan your entire store, you can choose some services that will help you make smarter design decisions. If you don’t have the finances for the whole design, sometimes it pays to hire a professional for the most crucial part of the process and then take it from there.

Myth No. 5: The big retailers know best. Copy them. While major retailers can provide lessons in logistics such as aisle width and lighting techniques, independent retailers sometimes fall into the trap of too closely mimicking the look and feel of a large store. They assume the big  players know best and try to recreate the color schemes and layouts of stores that have far greater resources. They are trying to replicate what’s already been done and that puts them in the underdog position right from the get go. It’s far better to develop your own look through  distinctive wall colors, store displays and signage.


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